Skip to main content

How Renna Made San's Mask

Renna is back and with her tutorial on Mask making! She created a cosplay of San from the movie Princess Mononoke. Here is how she made the mask for the wild character. Also, if you try her method of mask making, she would love to see your results! Check out her link at the bottom of the page.

Renna as San
Photo by Renna

Hello! I’m happy to be back on VFire’s blog, this time talking about mask making! I’ll be
showing you specifically how I made San’s mask from Princess Mononoke, but this technique
can be used to make any kind of mask.

Step #1: Find your base
The base is the main shape of the mask. For San I used a ball about 10” in diameter. But you
can use any base you want depending on your mask. If you’re making Majora’s Mask, find a
heart shaped base. If you want to make a mask that fits your face, I recommend using this tinfoil
technique: (but stop after the tinfoil part, I
tried using their method to make a mask and it... was rough.)

Step #2: Paper Mache

This is the step that will bring the most strength to your mask, however, it will also bring the
most weight. The more layers of paper mache you do the stronger and heavier it will be. For
San I did about 15 layers, and that thing is SUPER sturdy, but also pretty heavy. This is also
the most time consuming part of the process, as you need to let each layer of paper mache dry
COMPLETELY before moving on. Otherwise it’ll be weak.
If you did the tin foil method, after your paper mache is done and dry, remove the tin foil from
the back (otherwise it won’t fit on your face after the next couple steps).

Step #3: Eyes/mouth/nose/etc

At this point I recommend cutting out any eyes or mouth parts. Be careful! If you went with thin
paper mache there’s a chance your mask could crack at this point. If you went with thick paper
mache then it’s going to be pretty hard to cut through. And it’ll make a mess.
OPTIONAL STEP: Smooth it out
Paper mache can be sanded. If you feel like the holes you made for your eyes/mouth/etc are
really rough, you can sand them. You can also sand the surface of the mask if you want to, but
it’s not necessary after the next step.

Step #4: Paperclay!

Paperclay is a magical air-dry clay. Here’s the Amazon listing, though you can find it at most
craft/hobby stores:
It doesn’t feel very sticky when you are first working with it, but it will stick to whatever you
put it on after it dries (as long as you don’t put it on a totally smooth surface, and paper mache is
not smooth, so we’re good.). Cover your mask with the paperclay, adding in any details that you
want. I covered my in clay, then I also added the bevels on the forehead and over the nose.
I recommend doing the clay on both the outside and inside of the mask, just so it looks nicer.
This is why I suggested removing the foil from the tin-foil method. The paperclay will now take
up the space that the foil once did.

Step #5: Smooth
This is why I love adding paperclay on top of the paper mache. Paperclay is SO easy to sand.
I felt like no matter how much I sanded my paper mache, I could never get rid of the lines that
clearly told the world “I’m made of paper mache!” So sand down that paperclay until it’s as
smooth as you want it. WARNING: when you sand paperclay it comes off in a lot of dust. I
recommend being outside.

Step #6: Paint & Decorate!

After all this is done, you’re ready to do the pretty part! I painted San’s mask with a combination
of spray paint and acrylic. And then when I was done I added weathering to make it look more
And that’s all there is to it! If you want to see the tutorial I made specifically for San’s mask, you
can find it here on my DeviantArt:
If you do use this method to make a mask, please share your results with me! I’d love to see what
you can make.



Popular posts from this blog

How to Make Auron's Blade - The Cosplay Armory

As promised, James of the Cosplay Armory shares his knowledge on how to make Auron's Katana from the game, Final Fantasy X. I have been very excited for this as I followed his page as he worked on the blade. I hope you enjoy it! - VFire

Auron's Katana Build by James

A note before I start. I will be mentioning the use of several machines that I have the luxury of having in my shop that I am well aware not everyone has. This project is definitely easier with them than without but everything I describe can be done without them or with simpler tools. I will also include steps that I do that are not necessary in parenthesis()

I was commissioned to build the Auron Katana by Lolita Zombie Cosplay and knew immediately that I wanted it to be light, yet durable. The first step to building any prop is figuring out what you’re going to make it out of. A lot of prop makers use light woods like poplar and MDF and while I have used some wood I decided it would be my first sword that I built e…

Ep. 010 - Cosplay Contests 101

This episode will be the first in a series. The series will start in a few weeks as we get through some old episodes, but we wanted to get some hype going and get questions brewing about cosplay contests. This first episode covers some basics and questions/answers from cosplayers in our community.

We hope this summary episode gives everyone a good idea of how to prep for a contest and what to expect if you have never heard of one before.

Thank you for listening. We are loving the feedback and Horror Stories. You all rock!
- The Stitch and Seam Team

Ep. 009 - The Cosplay Golden Rule

This week we go more in depth about cosplay, consent, and bullying in our community. Our community should be uplifting and encourage creativity and here is how to do it!

If you are being bullied or just need a bit of sunshine in your life, message us at the cosplay stitch and seam and we will shower you in happy messages!

Also, share your horror stories at CosplayStichAndSeam @ or send a request/question and you may hear it on the podcast. You might even inspire an entire episode.

Stay tuned to the end to hear a question from Zerelixon in Norway on cosplay judging! Thank you Zerelixon for submitting such a good question!!

Music by Maycey Roberts
Sound Editing by David Jeffress